State Legislature Passes Higher Education Bill: Michigan Tech Receives 1 Percent Increase

By Jennifer Donovan | Published

Michigan Technological University will receive $49,028,200 from the state under the Higher Education Bill that just passed the Michigan House and Senate. That is approximately $200,000 less than the state appropriated to the University at the start of the past fiscal year, but 1.1 percent more than Michigan Tech actually received after the Governor was forced last June to make executive-order cuts and delay an August payment to balance the state budget. The University recently received that delayed payment of $4.5 million.

All of Michigan’s state universities are facing similarly small changes in the new budget compared to last year. The University of Michigan, Michigan State and Wayne State Universities received a 1 percent increase, as did Western Michigan University. The highest increase was 2.4 percent to Lake Superior State University.

Michigan Tech’s new state appropriation is approximately $1.4 million less than the Governor’s earlier estimate of $50,449,000, a figure Michigan Tech used to prepare its budget for this fiscal year.

“We’re disappointed that the appropriation fell short of original estimates, but it’s manageable with minimal impact on our faculty, staff and students,” said Glenn D. Mroz, Michigan Tech president. “It’s a lot of money, but it is a relatively small amount of our total budget.” State revenues account for less than 25 percent of the University’s total expenditures and less than 40 percent of its General Fund budget of approximately $120 million.

Mroz expressed concern about Michigan’s trend of shifting the funding of higher education to students and their families. “Corrected for inflation, state support for Michigan Tech has been essentially flat for 30 years,” he pointed out. Nationwide, state appropriations to public universities increased by 7.9 percent this year. “If this trend continues in Michigan, our economic competitiveness nationally and globally will be seriously impacted.”

The new state budget underscores the vital importance of alternative sources of revenue for universities, such as research support, philanthropy and enrollment growth, Mroz said. Michigan Tech has increased its research funding, philanthropic support and enrollment significantly over the past year, he added.

Michigan Technological University is a public research university, home to more than 7,000 students from 54 countries. Founded in 1885, the University offers more than 120 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science and technology, engineering, forestry, business and economics, health professions, humanities, mathematics, and social sciences. Our campus in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula overlooks the Keweenaw Waterway and is just a few miles from Lake Superior.